How long does it take for the muscles to fully recover to make a century easier? Age has really slowed recovery and healing. How many days (if any) do you rest before a century? I welcome advice and other comments.
Both my cycling clubs have Fall Centuries coming up shortly - 9/11 and 9/19.
I haven't asked or contributed much in the 50+ forum. I think this is a good question for here because age is the main issue. I've included a few details both for understanding the question and for its entertainment value.
I'm 64 and 223# (a 24# drop). I started cycling 6/2/2010 and I've biked a little over 2,000 miles [What do you mean, "manic"?]. I ride 5 days a week and do gym (not very strenuous lifting and/or circuit machines) on my rest days of Monday and Friday. About 40% of my rides are group rides. I usually do an 18-mile Fitness Ride each week but almost all my rides are longer, 35-65 miles. The terrain is New England rolling hills with an average of 40-70 feet per mile (climbs can be brutal for me because of my fat). My average speed is typically 15.3-16.4 - my best 17 mph for 20 miles. I work pretty hard - I'm literally gasping by the top of almost any climb longer than a few minutes and I usually pedal on the downhills. I've been working at raising my cadence, and my average cadence is about 83. I am very pleased with how well it has gone so far!
After 4 days of rain, I overcooked myself with four days of 49-60 mile rides. By yesterday's ride, my legs were shot and I was dropped early. My average heart rate was about 10 beats lower than normal but I was hurting - "how far til the end?" My thighs will still be sore tomorrow, but that's not unusual.
This is the second week before the first century. My plan is to do a long ride (maybe 75 miles) Tuesday, starting at 7-8 AM (when the century starts) and eating/drinking the stuff I plan for the century. I only have one ride longer than 65, an 83-mile ride that ended with cramping hamstrings in my 7th week of cycling [Circumstances caused me to try a century even though I was pretty sure I wasn't quite ready.]. My muscles are better prepared now and I think I have the eating/drinking worked out better now.
Next week the first century is on Saturday. I plan on doing an easy ride on Wednesday and doing two rest days on Thursday and Friday. Sound practical?